STUDY: Brand Loyalty Isn’t Dead, It’s Just Complicated
The 2018 Retail Trends Report surveyed 1,300 U.S. consumers and highlights the different ways today’s shoppers define brand trust and loyalty. Contrary to the perception of many retailers, 83 percent of consumers consider themselves about the same or more loyal to brands than their parents, with nearly 30 percent of Millennials reported being more brand loyal than their parents — the highest percentage among all demographics.
Consumers who considered themselves less loyal than their parents cite more choices (54 percent), with 37 percent saying it was because they have more information. But choice and education cut both ways: for consumers who felt they were more loyal than mom and dad, 42 percent said it’s due to doing more research and having first-hand experience, with 35 percent saying its because they have a larger variety of choices. The message to retailers: be transparent with information, and ensure what you have to offer has unique and compelling value for your customers.
When asked to describe their style of loyalty, consumers reported the following:
- 60 percent: Share the love. The majority of consumers say that while they aren’t singularly committed, they are faithful to a “select” number of brands or products. For example, while they may not purchase all of their fitness clothing from a single brand, they do buy their running shoes from the same brand faithfully. Loyalty is connected to specific value offered by a product or service.
- 23 percent: Play the field. The study found 23 percent of consumers say they aren’t loyal to specific retailers or products. Instead, these consumers tend to make purchasing decisions in the moment depending on new products/services, price, offers/sales, recommendations, etc.
- 17 percent: Monogamist. The mythological (and perhaps, nonexistent) loyal consumer is a rare find, but they do exist. However, only 17 percent of consumers classified themselves as “fiercely loyal” to a handful of brands — typically one per category.
According to Andrew Park, senior director of customer experience strategy at InMoment, these findings reveal a complex and varied definition of loyalty that brands must understand and respect if they hope to build high-value relationships.
“The holiday shopping season provides a great opportunity for retailers to begin building genuine relationships with their new and existing customers that last far beyond December,” said Park. “The brands that stand out during the holiday shopping frenzy are the ones that have been listening to and collecting authentic and direct feedback from customers all year and use this feedback to inform experiences their customers desire most. Whether it’s as complex as a popular e-retailer opening a holiday pop-up store or as simple as offering layaway options, when customers recognize they’re a priority and co-creators of a brand's reputation and value, they’re much more likely to be and stay loyal for the long haul.”